Starting an indoor garden is an excellent way to bring some greenery and life into your home. Plants are a great addition to any home, and fill a variety of needs from design to culinary. If you’re starting an indoor garden your first question might be how long do houseplants live?
It’s a simple question, but the answer is a bit more complicated than a single answer. In this article, we’ll look at how long houseplants can live, some common reasons they don’t reach their maximum age, and what you can do to increase the longevity of your plants.
How Long Do Houseplants Live?
It’s hard to give generalizations due to the large variety of plants, but on average, houseplants tend to live about 2 to 5 years. This is just the average though, and many plants could live longer or shorter. The plant’s survival will always depend on what type you have and how committed you are to grow it.
With good care, most plants can live significantly longer than this. The only general exception is annuals, which survive only a year by design. There are also a handful of other plants that have caps on their max age, but these are the exception not the rule.
Most of the common reasons why a plant dies are because of several factors like environmental conditions, how you take care of it (where the owner doesn’t have enough caring knowledge), and even the time of the year. This means that in most cases, the age your plant will live to is often based on how well you care for it. Plant’s, unlike animals, don’t typically die from old age and instead die from outside factors.
Beware The Labels In Garden Centers
One common issue with growing long lived plants is that their labels often contain misinformation. Many garden centers will list plants having life spans of only 4-8 weeks, and provide care guidelines that match that.
This often leads to people following this advice that is ultimately harmful to their plant. If you care for a plant like it’s only going to live a couple of months then that’s exactly how long it will live.
The fix here is to not necessarily trust big-box store nursery labels and do your own research. You can also consult with a trusted gardener who can guide you on proper care. The lesson is to make sure that you learn about your plants and give them the proper care they need.
How To Have Long Lived Houseplants
If you currently have houseplants and are looking for tips on how to make them live longer, the first thing to do is make sure you’re watering them correctly. Watering, both underwatering and overwatering, is one of the biggest issues for indoor gardens. In particular, too much water is extremely harmful to most plants grown in containers.
This is because the water has no place to drain to, and therefore sits in the soil. This excess moisture can lead to bacteria build up and root rot, which will kill your plants. Making sure you’re watering enough is key to healthy, long-lived plants.
Learning how much light your plant needs is also very important and an area that’s often misrepresented on garden labels. Some plants prefer to receive direct sunlight while others won’t be able to tolerate it. Keep in mind that every season is different so light intensity is not the same. One thing to keep in mind is to always look for the yellowing or browning of the leaves because it is a key sign that the plant is not receiving the correct amount of light.
You should also look to avoid indoor hazards that can damage your plant. This often takes the form of heating or cooling units that can drastically change the temperature around them. This adds extra stress to the plant, which can reduce its overall life expectancy. Plants don’t like large, rapid temperature changes, so do your best to have them in locations that don’t experience this.
Having a deep understanding and idea of how to properly take care of your plants is the best way to make them live longer. With the wide variety you can choose from it will always depend on the lifestyle you have and how much time you can commit to taking care of it. That’s why it is a must that you know the specific requirements every plant needs. Take time to do some research first, and you’ll be rewarded with healthy, long-lived plants.